How to List an Internship on a Resume

How to List an Internship on a Resume

How to List an Internship on a Resume

Why Should You Put an Internship on Your Resume?

Although it may not have been paid or undertaken for an extended period, an internship is a valuable form of work experience which, if relevant, should be included on your resume.

Recruitment processes are competitive and you should do all you can to distinguish yourself in the initial application stage.

Including all the relevant experience you have on your resume is key to conveying your suitability and capability for a role.

If you have little or no work experience (for example, if you have just graduated), internships are a valuable way to show you have relevant on-the-job experience.

Even if a job is targeted at graduates and indicates that there is ‘no experience required’, employers still prefer to hire people with experience of the sector.

Evidence of relevant work experience helps to display your commitment to working within the industry and shows that you have some understanding of what such a role will entail. An internship will have exposed you to the soft and hard skills needed in the work environment.

If you have completed more than one internship, list (and highlight in your cover letter) the experience that is most aligned with the job role or best displays the transferable skills you have obtained.

It is vital to leverage all relevant experience, regardless of its level, to stand out to prospective employers.

Who Should Include an Internship on Their Resume?

College Graduates

Including an internship on your resume is of particular benefit to individuals with little or no relevant job history, such as college graduates.

As a graduate, it is important to leverage all your experiences to illustrate your skills, competencies and, most importantly, your potential.

Whilst studying, you will likely have been encouraged by your college to complete at least one internship. The aim being to close your experience gap so you can compete alongside more experienced candidates when entering the job market after graduation.

Larger, more formal corporate internships can be competitive to secure – sometimes as competitive as interviewing for a permanent role.

If you have one of these to your name, then including it is a great way to sell yourself.

Remember, though, that internship opportunities need not be high-profile programs to be listed on your resume. Consider all internships as professional experience that you can highlight to your advantage.

Career Changers

Internships are also useful resume additions if you are looking to change your career.

Even if the relevant internship experience was undertaken before you embarked upon your existing career, its inclusion displays an early interest in the field.

It will help to convey to the employer that you are not making the career change on a whim, but have always been interested in pursuing work in the area.

If you have recently undertaken an internship to open up opportunities for a career change, then this should one-hundred percent be included on your resume.

The internship displays your dedication to changing paths, whilst your previous job history displays the transferable skills you possess.

When to Include an Internship on Your Resume, and When to Leave It Out

When to Include

You should add an internship in a prominent position on your resume when it is directly relevant to the job for which you are applying.

This might be relevant in terms of sector or industry, or regarding specific skills that apply to the open role.

You should always take time to create a strong resume tailored to the company and role. Reviewing your work experience and editing/restructuring your resume may be the difference between securing an interview or your application not receiving a second glance.

If the internship was with the same company you are applying to join, it should be given an optimal location on your resume.

If you are currently completing an internship, you can include it on your resume too. The experience does not need to be completed to be highlighted.

If you have an upcoming internship scheduled, you may also wish to include this on your resume as a brief one-sentence entry.

Listing an upcoming internship displays that you are being proactive in gaining further experience in the sector, showing your dedication to securing work in the field.

When to Omit or Remove

You may not want to include an internship that could open you up to potential bias – for example, if it had a certain political affiliation or is related to advocacy for a contested cause.

This is, however, a judgment call.

Additionally, once you gain experience in the workplace, internships can be removed from your resume.

Around five years of experience in your chosen field (or around three different job roles) should give you enough detail to evidence your skills without the need for the internship entry.

As a rule of thumb, once you have relevant work experience that evidences the competencies you were previously using your internship to highlight, remove it.

Real estate on your resume is valuable and recruiters prefer shorter, concise resumes.

If the internship was prestigious and high-profile within your chosen sector, though, (such as with an industry-leading company) it is worth continuing to highlight the experience.

How to List an Internship on a Resume
How to List an Internship on a Resume

How to Include an Internship on Your Resume

To have an impact, your entry on the internship experience needs to be concise and quick for recruiters to absorb.

Following the points below will help you to structure your internship entry so it is a clear and positive addition to your resume.

Step 1: Double-Check Your Internship is Relevant

Before you start to draft a description of the internship to add to your resume, consider if the internship is relevant to the role you are applying to.

Recruiters spend a very short amount of time reading each resume, so highlighting experience that does not match the responsibilities of the role may be detrimental.

Decide whether to include it or not based on its relevance and the transferable skills it displays.

For example, if your internship was in costume design and you are applying for a role as an admin assistant, the experience does not align and it may be best to omit it.

If, however, you are applying as an admin assistant in the office of a design, fashion or clothing company, your internship can be used to show your interest in the wider sector.

It is important to consider your inclusions and make a judgment call for each role.

Step 2: List the Basic Information

When listing your internship, you need to convey as much key information as possible but with few words.

First include the formal title of the internship, being specific if you can.

For example, instead of just listing your role as ‘intern’, use a more detailed title such as ‘marketing intern’.

Below, list the company name, location and date of your internship.

For example:

Marketing Intern
IBM
New York, NY.
July – September 2019

Step 3: Reflect on Your Responsibilities

First, think carefully about how to best describe your internship in a sentence.

This introductory line should be clear, to the point and not duplicate any of the information included within the basic information above.

  • Review the responsibilities you had as an intern and note any that are particularly relevant to the open role
  • Reflect on the lessons you learned during the internship
  • Note the skills you honed or acquired through the experience

It may be useful to list these out. Use your judgment and highlight the responsibilities that carry the most weight for your application.

You may have spent time carrying out more menial tasks, but if they do not add professional value to your resume, don’t include them.

Next, go through the list and highlight the responsibilities and skills that you deem to be most relevant to the job role for which you are applying.

These responsibilities should be included on your resume as an easy to read bullet-point list. Around two to four points should be listed.

If you can, include technical terms that will catch the eye of recruiters by displaying a level of industry knowledge.

Ensure you clearly state any key achievements to highlight your accomplishment. Include numbers and percentages to quantify the achievement if you can.

Don’t worry if the achievements aren’t large in scale. With internship listings, employers will be looking for indicators of your potential, not a proven track record.

For example:

Tasked with assisting the marketing department in the promotion of a newly released IBM cloud product.

  • Identified existing client opportunities for upselling/upgrading of current services.
  • Set up a targeted automated email campaign to reach new audiences. Increased click engagement by 50%.
  • Tracked additional engagement rates across social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Step 4: Positioning Your Internship on Your Resume

Recruiters have many resumes to consider, so it is best to ensure your key accomplishments stand out as headlines on your resume.

Internships, therefore, should not be placed at the bottom of your resume or be listed as a sub-section in the education section. They are valuable work experiences and should be highlighted appropriately.

If you are a young or established professional, internships should be included within your work experience or work history sections. Where you place your internship within your work history will depend on its significance and relevance to the role for which you are applying.

If an internship is the most relevant example of experience you have for a job role, then place it above your work history so it has prominence.

If you are a student or recent graduate and are relying on internships to illustrate your on-the-job experience, they should have their own internships section.

If you have a separate internships section, this should be placed above your educational information.

Finally, ensure the formatting on your internship entry matches the rest of the work experience or internships section and is consistent across your resume as a whole.

A resume with a uniform aesthetic creates a professional impression.

Example Resume

Elizabeth Marke

279 Lincoln Road
New York, NY.
Tel. 076325 98635
[email protected]

WORK EXPERIENCE:

Marketing Intern

IBM
New York, NY.
July – September 2019

Tasked with assisting the marketing department in the promotion of a newly released IBM cloud product.

  • Identified existing client opportunities for upselling/upgrading of current services.
  • Set up a targeted automated email campaign to reach new audiences. Increased click engagement by 50%.
  • Tracked additional engagement rates across social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Social Media Intern

Target
New York, NY.
November 2018 – February 2019

Managed the Instagram, Twitter and Facebook content related to the new designer homewares range.

  • Produced engaging copy tailored to each social media platform.
  • Oversaw image selection and editing.
  • Tracked engagement rates and monitored unsubscribes.
  • Compiled and presented a report on the campaign’s effectiveness and reach to senior management.

Sales Assistant

Robinsons Computing
Portland, ME.
March 2013 – September 2015

Whilst studying in high school, worked at a family-run store to provide quality customer service. Helped to maintain the company’s website and established a new social media presence.

EDUCATION:

Bachelor of Marketing
NYU Stern School of Business
2016 – 2019

Final Thoughts

An internship should be proudly included on your resume as an example of work experience that has prepared you for a role in your desired sector.

If the internship is relevant to your aspirations, don’t leave it out or let it be overlooked at the bottom of your resume.

If you are a graduate and lack a work history, including your internship experiences is key for evidencing your skills and abilities.

Internships are also invaluable for evidencing specific industry experience and motivation when you are trying to enter a new sector as a mid-career changer.

Internships should be viewed as professional experiences and presented on your resume as such.

Make sure to utilize any relevant internship experience you have by including it prominently. It will help to display your competencies, skills and motivation to work in the sector, strengthening your application.


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